According to the REIQ, Whitsunday vacancy rates have dropped since Tropical Cyclone Debbie.
According to the REIQ, Whitsunday vacancy rates have dropped since Tropical Cyclone Debbie. Peter Carruthers

Whitsunday vacancy rates drop in Cyclone Debbie's wake

WHILE the crossing of the Whitsunday coast by Tropical Cyclone Debbie in March last year was bad news for most, a silver lining for property owners was confirmed this week at the release of the Real Estate Institute of Queensland's March quarter vacancy rate report.

The Whitsunday's vacancy rate has improved since 2015 when it was 10 per cent to now sit at 2.6 per cent.

This market is straining a little under the temporary workers who are in the area repairing damage from Debbie.

The REIQ said this work was coming to an end and it expected if there was any residual churn in this rental market that it would stabilise soon.

The outlook was good for Mackay and Whitsunday as jobs programs were getting traction and employment was stabilising, the REIQ said.

Media and communications manager Felicity Moore told the Whitsunday Times that suppliers to the mines had been quietly tooling up and the metallurgical price was improving.

"The Bowen Basin provides some of the world's best-quality metallurgical coal and this will benefit the regional economy as demand grows and the mines ramp up production to meet that,” she said.

"We expect the house and unit sales markets will enjoy a stronger year this year than in 2017.

"The REIQ's hope is that the bottom has been met. Data will be released in June that will give us an indication of what 2018 will hold for the selling market in Mackay and the Whitsundays.”

Local agents are sharing strong anecdotal evidence that buyer confidence is returning to the market and this bodes well for sellers.

Whitsunday house prices grew 3.1 per cent in 2017 and this indicates a steady year in real estate.

The market is still 5.7 per cent below where it was five years ago but this is small compared to other markets.


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